Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

12 Satirical Maps Of World War One

Share this:

These maps offer perspectives on Europe at the onset of World War One in 1914. They are all words of propaganda.

The hereunder Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914 is a relatively early work by Walter Trier.



Full text:

England hides its fleet under the skirt of home, the dog Ireland is at its back.
King Oskar of Sweden looks “intently” at Russia.
France bravely retreats, while Spain devotes itself to sweet “idleness.”
Belgium – already has!

German and Austria-Hungary strike solid German blows on all sides.
Good “will” prevails in Switzerland.
|(blacked out)[Italy is loyal until death or victory(?)]|
Sicily – volcanic soil, but otherwise quite quiet.
Montenegro – a pack of lice.

Serbia – a pack of swine! The King of Derazzo.
Albania – abandons its people.
Greece and Turkey are eager to devour one another. Ferdinand of Bulgaria would also like to have a share.
|(blacked out) [(a name here?) of Rumania]|
{? Romania: King Carol I}
Russia wants to swallow up everything, but will not succeed.

I was sold with this 1870 woodcut:


German Cartoon Map of Europe 1914


Tim Bryars has more on the next map – and the power of cartoons of cause offence:

Louis Raemaekers was a Dutch cartoonist and therefore, technically, a neutral. He crossed into Belgium in the wake of the German advance and what he saw drove him the create anti-German cartoons of such startling ferocity that the German government pressed the Dutch to put him on trial for compromising Dutch neutrality. He was acquitted but crossed over to London to continue his work. If one has any doubt about how significant this sort of propaganda was thought to be, it’s worth bearing in mind that the German government put a price of 12000 Guilders on Raemaekers head, dead or alive.

Published in Amsterdam by Senefelder in 1915 the title ‘Het Gekkenhuis (Oud Liedje, Nieuwe Wijs)’ translates roughly as ‘The Lunatic Asylum (Old Song, New Tune)’. That seems fairly appropriate for a neutral observer in a world gone mad. In fact, although neutral Holland is looking on and peacefully pulling on a pipe, he has a revolver handy; unlike Spain and Portugal, which are intent on their own affairs, Holland is watchful, peering over his shoulder at his belligerent neighbour.

Here’s his map:


Louis Raemaekers


The pair of maps by Karl Lehmann-Dumont, both published in Dresden in 1914 by Leutert and Schneidewind, are among my favourites for sheer wit and inventiveness.




Full text:

Humorous Map of Europe

Germany. The German Michel (ie. Michael, used like Johnny in “Johnny Rebel” to mean a straight-shooting fellow) has put on the war helmet over his cap and stretches and expands at full strength, already has the Frenchman by the throat and duly beats the hide of the Russian bear. The Imperial Nobility “lets its bees out of the German hive in surprising numbers against the enemy.”

Austria-Hungary fights cunningly against Russia and Serbia and kicks Montenegro in the back. With enthusiasm and unity, all its peoples go after the Russian bogeyman.
France in retreat calls to England for help, its Turkos (?) ask for pardon, while the Gallic rooster crows about victories according to the recipe from 1870/71.

Russia with an “Angel of Peace” cockade gruesomely opens its maw to swallow Germany and Austria whole, swings the Vodka bottle and the whip of revolution, while the German “insects” probe his hollow tooth and knock out his poisonous fang. The Russian bear, eager for the German beehive, is driven off by the bees, while the Pole sticks it to him, and Finland calls for a liberator.

England, having caused Egypt to declare war as well, makes its first acquaintance with the gauntlet (lit.: armored fist) while standing on its bags of money. The Indian snake gives its bulldog breathing difficulties, and Ireland tries to sever the twisted cord.
Belgium, whose people shows itself to be a poisonous toad, has already been skewered on the German fixing pin in order to be incorporated into the German collection.

Serbia, which ignited the world war with its murder-bomb, is hunched over caught by both ears by the Austrian double-eagle.
Montenegro. The fat Nikita foolishly fights against Germany and Austria-Hungary and jubilantly receives Russian rubles for his effort.

Italy, bound by the Triple Alliance, waits in his boot for the moment to intervene, armed and provided with sardines.
Spain. King Alfonse counts his war chest, his family is against unnecessary expenses, while the knight Don Quixote already raises his lance.
Portugal leans comfortably against Spain while reading the war reports.
Holland is impolitely interrupted during breakfast as a stray bomb lands in his cup of cocoa.
Denmark peacefully makes butter deliveries to German, the bayonet point of 1864 has been made safe.

Norway, as a friend and brother of Germans, applauds us.
Sweden watches developments in Russia closely and in arms.
Switzerland watches the world conflagration in all comfort and is already an asylum for homeless Russian grand dukes.
Rumania energetically forges its sword.
Bulgaria. Ferdinand busily washes his saber, still bloody from the Balkan War.
Greece, with its conquered bit of Turkey, cleverly considers its next action.

Albania. The “Commission” persists in waiting in quiet prayer.
Turkey. The sultan, wounded in the Balkan War, is recovering on his sickbed, but is not averse to giving Russia a light, which would cause the south-Russian powder keg to explode.
Japan is dragged into the European theater of war by England and grimly bares his predator’s teeth to Germany.




This black and white map by E. Zimmermann, published in Hamburg by W. Nölting in 1914, is almost equally elaborate.





Full Text:

The Russian bear sprays insect repellant on the Russians and holds out his empty wallet while roaring “hunger.” Finland, chained to Russia, tries to cut itself free. The Russian is under fire from Austria and Germany. His (chamber)pot is full of victories. His uniform shows a tear in East Prussia and Lithuania.

The Austrian duly scratches the Serbs.
Rumania is at the ready.
Bulgaria is still wounded from the Balkan War.
The Turk awakes, he looks at his harem woman.
Norway and Sweden are neutral, Denmark supplies butter.

Italy has both feet in one boot and remains neutral.
The German pushes Belgium out of the way with the elbow and is at Franzi’s head.
Bordeaux becomes an asylum for the homeless.
The victories of the English and French are false, like the snakes that proclaim them. The Englishman will also soon know what 42ers are, etc. etc.


Anonymous map printed in 1914 by the Verlagsgesellschaft Union in Charlottenburg, a suburb of Berlin.






“Hark! hark! The dogs do bark!”
(note by Walter Emanuel; London, G.W. Bacon & Co. 1914)


 "Hark! hark! The dogs do bark!" (note by Walter Emanuel; London, G.W. Bacon & Co. 1914)



Full text (via):

The Dogs of War are loose in Europe, and a nice noise they are making! It was started by a Dachshund that is thought to have gone made — though there was so much method in his madness that this is doubtful. [NOTE FOR THE IGNORANT: The German for Dog is Hund. The English for German is Hun. Dachshund means badger-dog — and he is sometime more badgered than he likes.] Mated with the Dachshund, for better or for worse, was an Austrian Mongrel. By the fine unwritten law of Dogdom big dogs never attack little dogs. There are, however, scallywags in every community, and, egged on by the Dachshund for private ends, the Mongrel started bullying a little Servian. And the fat was in the fire, for the little Servian had a great big friend in the form of a Russian Bear, and he stood up for his pal. And that was what the Dachshund wanted. He hoped that a big row would ensue, and in the confusion he intended to steal a bone or two that he had his eye on for some time. He got what he wanted — and a little more. For the Russian Bear had friends too. There was a very game little Belgian Griffon, and there was a great big French Poodle, a smart dandified fellow, and there was a Bulldog. Rather a sleepy chap this last one, and the Dachshund despised him because he was not always yapping and snaring. But the Bulldog has a habit of sleeping with one eye open, and, when he is roused, he grips and won’t let go.

The Dachshund started by attacking the Belgian Griffon, as being the smallest, and mauled the poor creature cruelly, but was quite unable to kill her. And he was mistaken as to the others. He found that the dandified Poodle could fight, and that the Bulldog had not lost the knack of not lettinggo, and that Russia, after all, was a Rusher, and soon the Bear idea made the Dachshund tremble. And even the little Servian gave the Austrian Mongrel some nasty bites, and so did a neighbour of his named Monty.

The Dachshund now began to look round for friends, but they seemed strangely scarce. He had relied on an Italian Greyhound, a thoroughbred, named Italia, but Italia dissembled her love in the strangest way, and asserted that War was a luxury which she could not afford just now. All the same Italia loaded her gun, and who knows but what it may go off and whom it may go off and, whom it may hit — for accidents will happen in the best regulated families. The Dachshund, to his annoyance, found only one friend, and that was a dog of Constantinople. The Dogs of Constantinople are quite well known for being fond of offal.

Meanwhile the rest of the European Happy Family looked on, and who shall say how the row will spread? There’s the Greek with his knife ready to take a slice of Turkey; there are the Balkans determined not to be baulked of their own little ambtions; there’s the Spaniard fond of Bull fighting so long as he is not a John Bull; there’s the Portugee just spoiling for a scrap; there’s the Swiss suffering from cold feet; there’s the Dutchman, who keeps smiling with difficulty — still some nice meaty bones may come his way, and in any event he may be relied upon to play the game and not to be a Double Dutchman. [ANOTHER NOTE FOR THE IGNORANT:– Holland used to be known as a low lying country, but this title has now been filched by Germany] And, up North, the Norwegian, the Swede, and the great Dane all have their eyes well skinned.

All this, and more, may be seen depicted above. Search well and you may find many things. But not Peace. Peace has gone to the Dogs for the present — until a satisfactory muzzle has been found for that Dachshund. Meanwhile the Dachshund’s heart bleeds for Belgium — and his nose for Great Britain.”


European Revue – Kill That Eagle, by J. Amschewitz; London, Pub. by “Geographica”, 1914.


map 9




“Of great collecting value! European revue. Kill that eagle. [..] This satirical map of Europe is ‘a document proving the perfidy of Albion’. Whilst German assets and blood fight for the fatherland, England regards the war merely as business by saying sneeringly: ‘Business as usual’ [..]. The map reproduces the English original exactly. The few words are transposed into German for better understanding. The price of this map in London is 1 shilling – 1 mark. Reproduced by a German printer without kind permission from our English cousin, as an eternal memento. Printer and Publisher W. Nölting, Kaiser Wilhelmstr. 93. HAMBURG 36.”

Gedrängte Frühjahrsübersicht von Europa im Jahre 1915
{approx: Compact Overview of European Spring, 1915}
(by Lucas Gräfe; Hamburg, AK [pub.], 1915)





Sommerschau über Europa 1915
{Summer Review of Europe, 1915}
(by Lucas Gräfe; Hamburg, AK [pub.], 1915)



A very scarce propaganda map, with the twin octopuses of Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian empire spreading their tentacles across central Europe. Image: Altea Antique Maps (via)




Italy 1914.

Caricature neutralist italiana: the warring states are represented as dogs of breeds and different sizes that you quarrel Europe: each takes between the teeth a flap of the map trying to take a slice for himself, Italy is a bersagliere-hound that quiet smokes the pipa careless of the brawl of the other dogs, Postcard of propaganda, chromolithography, Italy 1914. (Photo by Fototeca Gilardi/Getty Images)


Via: dekluizenaar, Biblioodyssey, Tim Bryars